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Testicular gene expression in cryptorchid boys at risk of azoospermia

Hadziselimovic, Faruk, Hadziselimovic, Nils O., Demogin, Philippe and Oakeley, Edward James (2011) Testicular gene expression in cryptorchid boys at risk of azoospermia. Journal of Sexual Development, 5 (2). pp. 49-59. ISSN 1661-5425


Despite timely and successful surgery, 32% of patients with bilateral and 10% with unilateral cryptorchidism will develop azoospermia. Cryptorchid boys at risk of azoospermia display a typical testicular histology of impaired mini-puberty at the time of the orchidopexy.
During mini-puberty increased gonadotropin and testosterone secretion stimulate transformation of gonocytes into Ad spermatogonia. In azoospermia risk group this transformation is to a great extent impaired. This study aimed to analyze data on whole genome expression signatures of undescended testes at risk of developing azoospermia.
Twenty-three testicular biopsies from 22 boys were analyzed (19 testes from 18 boys with cryptorchidism) and 4 contralateral descended testes from patients with testicular agenesis. Expression profiling identified 483 genes not or under-expressed in the azoospermia risk group compared with the control and LAZR groups. Annotated loci were associated with spermatogenesis. Other significant genes were cellular defense response genes and hormone controlled loci involved in spermatogenesis. Some genes transcribed in normal adult meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells are activated in healthy juvenile Ad spermatogonia. Thus, molecular events initiating the testicular expression program at the onset of puberty and maintaining it during adulthood occur very early in prepubertal testes. This molecular event is to a great extent impaired in HAZR group lacking Ad spermatogonia (stem cells for spermatozoa) indicating impaired mini puberty.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: Dr. Hadziselimovic is the corresponding author for this study and the arrays were performed by Mr. Demogin at the Biozentrum. This paper is not related to any Novartis compound, study or clinical trial. My involvement stems from assistance that I provided to them in interpreting the data as part of a collaboration that was initiated while I was employed at the FMI.
Keywords: Testis development, cryptorchidism, azoospermia
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Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 13:15
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 13:15


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